Care is Not Free: The Forms of (Un)Paid Work — Screening & Discussion


screening and panel discussion
6. 4. 2023, 2 p.m.
Zborovňa (1. floor of Nová Cvernovka)
Račianská 78, Bratislava

Panelists: Zbyněk Baladrán (artist and curator), Zuzana Sekeráková Búriková (sociologist, Slovak Academy of Sciences), Daniel Grúň (JKS), Katarína Slezáková (JKS), Tereza Táborská (activist and unionist, ALICE – unions for social services workers we are bringing together workers from all types of social services)

Zbyněk Baladrán (1973) reflects visually on the undercurrents of capitalist society and on his personal role in the sophisticated mechanisms that keep it running. For almost two decades he has been creating auteur films, which could be referred to as film essays. Following the exhibition Cartography of the Invisible (Necrology #2) at The Július Koller Society, he will present a selection of his films, which he has been creating for almost two decades. The common element they share is interest in the legacy of left-wing thought, the archaeological method, and the analysis of social relationships.

The complex circuits through which capital moves are abstracted, the elusive power remains often unseen and misunderstood. Zbyněk Baladrán’s exhibition seeks to make some of these movements more visible. He examines the power practices of global capitalism, finds parallels between speculation as a mode of production of capitalist societies and the critical discourse of contemporary art. It shows that the institutional necros of art represents only one of the extremities of the decaying corpse of capitalism. Necrology can be described as an author’s para-science, which deals with the processes of decay associated with power practices, with perverse working conditions, or with adoration of militarization and killing in the middle of a world seen in  black-and-white terms. At the same time, necrology is fundamentally linked to critical revision of the apparatuses that established the institutional practice of the art museum — with its practices, dispositions, narratives, and marketing strategies.

As part of the films and the exhibition, the artist also focuses on the topic of work. In the discussion, we want to follow up precisely on the topic of working conditions and power practices. We would like to thematize care as the invisible and hidden prerequisite that sustains the current system. We will focus not only on how unpaid care work allows for to keeping women and other marginalized groups in poverty, but also on attempts to overcome the perceived gap between (paid) work and care. At the same time, we want to discuss what it looks like when care becomes work and what impact it has on its professional providers. The goal is to stop and think about ways to create other ways of understanding work that emancipate and create new ways of organizing society. Baladrán’s exhibition focuses on the disintegration and decline of capitalism. It can also be seen as a back door to rethinking current social and relationship practices and creating new models of closeness and care.

The event is a part of sUstainable-Feminist-Operation (U.F.O.) series organized by The Július Koller Society

The event takes place within the international project Islands of Kinship: A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions.

The event is a part of the international project Islands of Kinship: a Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions, co-financed by the European Union.